Structure and types of diamonds

May 11, 2021

diamond structure

The diamond is made up of several parts. Each of them is called in different ways, but according to the terminology of the Spanish Gemological Institute, there are the following:


  • Diameter: Width of the diamond at the widest point of the band.
  • Table: The top of the gem, the largest facet.
  • Crown: The top part of the diamond (from the table to the girdle).
  • Filetín: The intermediate band that joins the crown and the pavilion. It is the widest point of the diamond.
  • Pavilion: The lower part of the diamond (from the girdle to the culet).
  • Culet: The lower tip
  • Depth: Height of a diamond (from table to culet).

How light affects diamond

When light hits a diamond, some is reflected and some is transmitted within it. Inside a properly cut gem, the light is guided so that most of it can exit through the crown, giving the gem its best appearance.


The facets of the pavilion are responsible for the light traveling the correct path so that the greatest amount of brightness possible is produced. If the angles are not correct, most of it will refract outwards, coming out in the wrong place, resulting in a defective final appearance.



In summary, the proportions that define the quality of the brilliant cut are the diameter of the board, the height of the crown and the depth of the butt.

Diamond Shapes

The different shapes of the diamond are known as cuts. The cut of a diamond is precisely the way it is cut to maximize its qualities. Although the best known is the brilliant cut, there are many more ways in which a diamond can be cut. Some of the best known are the following:



  • Brilliant: the commonly known shape of the diamond that, polished in this way for this purpose, stands out for its intense brilliance.
  • Princess: This shape has pointed corners and is popularly known as a square shape, although it can vary to other rectangular shapes. The princess size usually shows a little color in the corners.
  • Oval: this is a diamond similar to the first, with a beautiful shine, although more elongated.
  • Pear – Also known as a teardrop, this diamond has a single point and a round end.
  • Radiant: it is distinguished by its cut corners and can have different types of rectangularity.
  • Emerald: this type of diamond stands out for its pavilion, composed of rectangular facets, and its large table, which creates a unique optical appearance and highlights the purity of the stone.
  • Cushion: it has round corners and long facets that increase shine, although it can present inclusions more easily than other shapes.
  • Heart: As its name suggests, the shape of this diamond features a single point but two round ends. This shape usually has a little color at the tip.

In addition, there are many other known shapes of diamonds, such as marquise, baguette, trillion, briolette or asher cuts.

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